It takes time to prepare colorful and nutritious meals every week, let alone day to day. When we get too busy we will grab for whatever is available, and often thats not the healthiest choice. Setting aside a couple of hours once a week for meal preparation will make a positive impact on the frequency of which you consume healthy foods. Its so much easier when youve planned ahead and dont have to think about it when hunger strikes! Some excellent food items to have on hand before you get started: dried foods (such as quinoa, nuts, seeds, oatmeal, whole grain tortillas), frozen vegetables (such as peas, corn, fruit, kale, spinach, etc.), and canned foods (such as chickpeas, beans, and olives).
Put on some upbeat music, strap on an apron, and lets get prepping!
Smoothie Bags. Line up quart-sized freezer bags and fill each with _ cup of fresh or frozen fruit, 1-2 cups of spinach or kale (or a mix), a half a banana or _ an avocado, 1 scoop of protein powder, 1 teaspoon of peanut butter and a sprinkle of turmeric. Seal tightly, then when ready to blend add about _ a cup of water or nut milk.
Microwaveable Lunches (homemade)! Use sectioned Tupperware when possible to portion out a full meal using leftovers from dinnertime. Add protein to one section, then vegetables and whole grains or beans to the other two. Run out of vegetables from the night before? Use frozen vegetables seasoned with True Lime Garlic and Cilantro. Pop containers in the fridge or freezer then reheat in the microwave.
Snack Bags or Containers (with dip). Slice carrots, celery, peppers, and cucumbers, then portion into small snack bags or containers for easy crunchy snacks throughout the week. Make dip by combining 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise with a sprinkle of True Lemon Pepper, some chopped fresh dill, and a splash of water to desired consistency. Here are more amazingly delicious dip recipes! Another option is to portion out containers of nuts or sliced apples with peanut butter. Just sprinkle the apple slices with True Lemon to prevent browning.
Taco Fillings. Make a large batch of ground beef, tofu, or jackfruit, seasoned with _ a packet of taco seasoning. In a separate container add frozen corn with chopped onions and peppers. In one more large container shred lettuce and mix with fresh cilantro. Need dinner fast? Assemble prepped fillings into taco shells and add plain Greek yogurt or cheese if desired. Enjoy!
Oatmeal Cups. Fill a small glass jar or container with unsweetened oatmeal, one teaspoon of your favorite nuts or seeds, and one teaspoon of dried fruit. Store in the cupboard and when ready to serve just add hot water, stir, and cover until absorbed. For extra nutrition add sliced banana or a scoop of almond butter.
Mediterranean Salad Jars. In 2 or 3 separate mason jars, add a drizzle of olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Alternate layers in each jar of cooked quinoa or brown rice, sliced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, fresh spinach, feta cheese, and chickpeas. Store in the fridge and grab one on your way to work! When ready to serve, turn entire jar upside-down into a bowl so that the dressing ends up on the top.
Ramen Bowls. This is great to make when supplies are running low! Place an opened packet of ramen noodles in a large container and sprinkle with just half the included flavoring packet to cut back on sodium. Top with a large handful of fresh spinach, frozen kale, or frozen broccoli. When ready to serve, add plenty of boiling water, cover with the lid, and let sit for about 10 minutes. Stir and enjoy!